Pet journalist Julia Szabo describes her harrowing struggle with a perirectal fistula and her fight to get a controversial treatment already widely available to animals. When her pit bull Sam collapsed due to arthritis, Szabo learned of stem cell regeneration therapy in which the patient is injected with stem cells from their own tissue.
The effects on Sam were miraculous, but the treatment was not yet FDA-approved for humans. Szabo details her self-education about her condition, and her unsuccessful trips to Panama and Madrid before finally receiving the treatment from the California Stem Cell Treatment Center.
During this time, she also suffered romantically; an ever-growing pack of rescue dogs provided the unconditional love where humans failed.
She tried alternative remedies and took some “health cues” from her dogs—the grain-free diet she fed her dogs led to her own “food-combining regimen,” which provided gastrointestinal relief.
Szabo also differentiates adult stem cell treatment from embryonic in order to combat the former being “unfairly represented by the mainstream media.” She also provides examples of stem cell therapy success, including that of Texas Governor Rick Perry and New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon.
While prone to narrative tangents, Szabo alerts readers to a cutting-edge medical procedure as well as the healing powers present in our canine friends.
“Szabo describes her book as a medical memoir, and it is—of both human and veterinary medicine. She takes up the cause of adult stem cell research, a field in which veterinary medicine has surpassed human medicine in research and treatment. . . . [and ] learns firsthand about the healing power of dog ownership and the frustration of being unable to access a treatment for herself that was widely available for her dogs.”—Library Journal
“Julia Szabo is a pioneer who takes the reader on a heartfelt, well-researched journey into the frontiers of regenerative medicine. Her honesty and fighting spirit hooked me from the first page. Whether writing about her dogs, herself, or the complex world of stem cell therapy, Julia grabs you by the heart and walks you through a labyrinth of self-discovery and healing. A beautiful and courageous book!” — Laurie Nadel, PhD, best-selling author of Sixth Sense: Unlocking Your Ultimate Mind Power
“Julia Szabo has taken a complicated subject—the amazing transformational power of adult stem cells—and woven it into the fascinating, witty, and heartfelt saga of her own compelling health journey. I honestly couldn’t put it down. It’s also so beautifully written that I would hate her if I didn’t absolutely adore her and her writing!”
— Mary Shomon, internationally known patient advocate and New York Times best-selling author of The Thyroid Diet
“Little did she realize, though, that when she had dog stem cells injected into her beloved pit bull, Sam, to cure his osteoarthritis, this would lead her on a global journey to find a cure for her own debilitating health issue. When Sam rebounded after his Vet-Stem injections, Szabo began an intensive study into the whole concept of stem cell research and discovered that the United States was far behind other countries when it came to the use of this breakthrough technology in humans. For a dog, cat or horse, stem cell injections were an expensive but available procedure, but for a human, the options were limited. In honest, sometimes-graphic prose, the author describes her crippling bouts of inflammation from her fistula, the way she used a healthy diet to limit flare-ups and the endless joy she received from her many dogs while searching for a cure. Szabo persevered and discovered the California Stem Cell Treatment Center, where she had her own stem cells (found in her body fat) injected into her fistula and bloodstream and rediscovered the joy of a normal life. A gutsy, consciousness-raising book about fistulas, dogs and stem cell therapy.” –Kirkus Reviews